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The health of the storage industry is shown by the steady emergence of new startups. Even though the volume dipped in 08 and 09, it never stopped all together. And over the past year or two, the quantity has risen dramatically.
Here are a few of the notables. As would be expected based on recent trends, these startups are focused around big data, virtualization, cloud and flash storage.
DataGravity is a Nashua, New Hampshire-based startup company co-founded by Paula Long and John Joseph. Long earlier co-founded EqualLogic, while Joseph worked there as Vice President of Marketing and Product Management until it was acquired by Dell in 2008 for $1.4 billion. He continued working at Dell as its Vice President of Storage Solutions Marketing for three years.
DataGravity's hardware and software products are intended to simplify the use of big data for mid-sized enterprises.
"DataGravity’s mission is to turn data into information by developing products that will remove the need for complex software packages and help IT managers and administrators extract value and information from stored data," says John Joseph, president and co-founder of DataGravity.
Although DataGravity is staying quiet about the full details of its products, it managed to impress a Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz to tune of $30 million in Series B investment. Initial offerings are due in a beta release by summer 2013.
Virident Technology is a startup that produces PCI Express (PCIe) SSDs. And it recently got a $40 million cash injection from Seagate, with Virident gaining access to Seagate’s well-established sales channels. The two will jointly develop further hardware and software products.
“Most SSDs are fast a very high percentage of the time, but suffer slowdowns of a few orders of magnitude from time to time as internal conflicts cause all operations to come to a halt, said Jim Handy, an analyst with Objective Analysis. “Virident has been able to use its algorithms to move past these difficulties and provide flash-based SSDs that perform at an extraordinarily consistent speed.”
Founded in 2010, VirtualSharp develops disaster recovery tools for virtual datacenters and the cloud. Its leadership team members were early pioneers of virtualization as part of VMware. Their close ties with VMware have enabled them to form an alliance whereby they are granted access to development, as well as gaining advanced notifications of new features which makes it possible for them stay ahead of the curve.
The company doubled its number of paying customers in 2012 and quadrupled the number of VMware virtual machines licensed. It also launched a Recovery-as-a-Service (RaaS) offering for Cloud Services Providers and added VMware co-founder Ed Bugnion to its Board of Advisors. All signs point to another good year for this startup.
“We are poised for big growth in 2013,” said Carlos Escapa, CEO and Co-Founder of VirtualSharp Software.
Teambox is a cloud-based collaboration and communications platform that focuses on file sharing, task management and collaboration. It was founded in 2008, is privately held and has headquarters in Barcelona, Spain (North American headquarters in Redwood City, California). The company boasts of a 500-percent boost in annual revenues in 2012, as well as adding over 1,400 enterprise customers.
Teambox seems to fill a needed middle ground in the market. It is said to be an inexpensive alternative to SharePoint and Jive, while providing a broader offering than Yammer.
ClearStory Data has created a big data analytics solution that integrates the data stored in vast public and private repositories. As a result, it allows users to explore and analyze big data. The value proposition is being able to do so without having to by super-expensive analytics systems and hiring a team of Data Scientists.
“With the astounding growth in external sources of data, data marketplaces, and corporate data housed in new big data platforms, it’s time to make it a lot easier for business users to interactively explore and analyze information no matter where it comes from,” says Sharmila Shahani-Mulligan, CEO and Founder of ClearStory Data.
The company received $9 million in Series A funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which was joined by seed investors Andreessen Horowitz and Google Ventures.
Whiptail is a New Jersey-based supplier of flash storage arrays founded in 2008. At the end of last year it raised $31 million in Series C and strategic funding from SanDisk, as well as an unnamed Silicon Valley industry player. For more details see Whiptail Banks $31M for All-Flash Enterprise Storage.